Saturday, July 9, 2016

Summer Blog Series Begins~Pantry Organizaion

Summer has finally begun! Yes, I know it is the second week in July and most people have probably been celebrating summer for a month or so, but we had a crazy May and an even crazier June ending in our second "vacation trip" over the 4th of July weekend. Phew! Now that all that is over with I can get down to business with my summer blog series. I am not a fan of hot summer weather at all, so while the temperatures creep up over uncomfortable, I will be busy inside. During the past two years while I was working full-time and going to school full-time, things around our home have gotten a little unorganized, to say the least. My mission       (whether I choose to accept it or not) is to get this place organized and simplified by September(ish). With my trusty side-kick, mom, by my side I decided that my first(and most needed) place to make-over was the pantry. After searching Pinterest for several days, I found some great ideas for organizing a pantry. Early Friday morning, mom and I schlepped to the dollar store to purchase a variety of containers to use for can't beat the price! 
As you can see from the before shot this pantry definitely needed an overhaul! We began by emptying the contents and grouping everything into categories like baking, canned goods, pasta etc. (We needed 3 tables, two snack tray tables and the floor to fit it all. How it fit in the pantry before I will never know.) Once everything was out we took off the shelf liner and wiped down each shelf. Next, we fit each "food category" into a storage container and added a label. I found some pretty labels at the dollar store too.

From start to finish, including shopping time, the entire project took five hours. I think you'll agree that it was five hours well spent. (I even used power tools to screw the bins on the side to the wall! This might not be impressive to some, but to those who know my skill level in this area, they will be amazed) 
Total cost: $ 20.00 ~ OCD issues fulfilled: Priceless!

I pity the fool who messes this pantry up!

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Homeschool Treasure

One of my favorite subjects to teach my girls has been poetry. I am not talking about an English unit study of poetry where we learn the different types of poems and how to write them, but learning to read and memorize poetry. I absolutely love to use the book "Poems For Children, A Delightful Collection for Boys and Girls" complied by Kate James. I love the poems. I love the Art work. I have loved this book so much that it is literally falling apart at the seams.  It is not an expensive book- I have found it on Amazon for around $10 used, sometimes more, but I have put off ordering it for one reason or another for years. Today I was spending the day with my Mom and Sister in NJ and we decided to go Antique Store Hopping. In the first store I found a creamer and sugar bowl set that goes with a set of Liberty Blue transfer wear that I collect at a steal for only $7.50 for the pair. In the next shop I was delighted to see a perfect copy of "Poems For Children..." sitting on the shelf. It doesn't even look like it has ever been opened. I was even more delighted when it was only marked $5.00! I can't wait to bring it home so Abi can pick out a poem to work on this coming week. Years ago, we were in a wonderful co-op that was very Charlotte Mason style in  structure. Both the children and the moms chose poems to memorize and share with the group. My little Abi, only two, memorized this poem from the book:

Little Things
 Little drops of water,
Little grains of sand,
Make the mighty ocean
And the pleasant land

Thus the little minutes,
Humble though they be,
Make the mighty ages,
of eternity

Ebenezer Cobham Brewer

I wonder what she will choose at almost eleven? I can't wait to find out. 

A Path Unknown

May 11, 2016
In August of 2014, I started down a path with an unknown destination. At the time, I had been working in bookkeeping for 14 years and I thought that it might be helpful to take an accounting course to put some formal learning behind the experience. Dan and I talked and prayed about it and, with his encouragement, I was able to pursue a grant and register for three classes. I still remember how surreal it was purchasing my books and walking into my first night class. (praising God for the first accounting book was $450.00!) I arrived early, and as I was sitting in the room alone, reality hit me and I remember thinking "what on earth are you doing? How are you going to work all day and keep up with three classes? What about my family?" and immediately I heard a still small voice say "be still and know that I am God." The semester progressed, I was amazed that I was actually understanding what I was learning, and fourteen weeks later I took my first set of final exams in almost 30 years. A year and half and 50 credits later, I am 1 week away from walking across a stage and receiving an A.A.S in Accounting. (I won't receive the actual degree until 8 weeks later) 
I could never have gotten this far with out the help and support of my family, Dan who undertook overseeing Abi's homeschooling, Mom who cooked and cleaned and kept the home-fires burning, Britni & Zack for driving Abi to dance classes and keeping an eye on her for us when either Dan or I were not home, Abi for being patient when mommy couldn't be home or had to spend every night and weekend studying. Many sacrifices were made for me to accomplish this feat, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you all. Most of all, I thank the Lord for leading me down this path, calming the anxious moments with His peace, and enabling me to remember what I needed to not only graduate, but graduate with high honors and a 4.0 GPA. 
It was very difficult for me to walk down this path, I constantly questioned was I doing the right thing? Even though it meant sacrificing much of the life I was used to, I had an underlying peace. Like I was supposed to keep going. What now? I decided to stop working full time in February and I am looking forward to returning home and taking over Abi's homeschooling once again. I am also praying about a few options that would allow me to use my degree to work from home. I am still not sure where this path is ultimately leading but I know who does, and He will make my path straight. 

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Finally--I'm Back

I know I have been absent from blogging for way too long but I didn't think that I would have an issue finding my blog on my dashboard or signing in to blogger when I decided it was time to pick up my "blogging pen" again. Wow- was I wrong. It took me two days but finally after many attempts at resetting passwords and hours of frustration, I somehow stumbled on to the solution. I only hope that I can remember how to get back on in the future!

What have I been doing with myself since my last post in January of 2015? Well- I have been going back to school and will be graduating with my A.A.S. in Accounting on May 11th 2016. Until February, I was also working full-time.

I am now hoping to start my own bookkeeping business so that I can work from home. I am most excited to return to homeshooling Abigail full time. I am thankful that Dan's schedule allowed him to oversee Abi's schooling while I worked and went to school so she didn't have to leave home but I am so ready to be a full-time homeschool mommy again.

So for the next few days I will be busy with final exams but after that I will be back to regular blogging.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Mother~Daughter Book Challenge

My daughter Britni extended a book reading challenge for 2015 and I accept!  Each year I attempt to do the "Read 52 books in 52 Weeks" challenge but with working and going back to school I need a more reachable challenge this year. Britni and I have agreed to stick to the following list to make our book selections this year. I am going to post a book review after each book I read. Any other mother/daughters that want to join us- feel free. Here's the list.

2015 Mother~Daughter Book Challenge

A book you've been meaning to read

A book published this year
A book in a genre you don't typically read
A book from your childhood
A book your mom loves
A book that was originally written in a different language
A book "everyone" has read but you
A book you chose because of the cover
A book by a favorite author
A book recommended by someone with great taste
A book you should have read in high school
A book that's currently on the best seller list

To follow Britni's challenge click on her picture in the side bar.  

My Journey Begins...........Again

Well....I see it has been since August since I last did a blog post..oh my! I have been up to several things that have kept me busy....1) I started working full-time in June and 2) I started going back to school in September. Lots of changes in 2014 but that is not the journey I am beginning again. This one is going to be difficult and I believe it will require accountability and transparency. Neither of which comes easy to me, I tend to keep personal things personal. Many of us make New Years resolutions only to feel guilty when our resolve isn't as strong as we had hoped. So I am not going to make any resolutions on my journey this year, only goals. So here goes....

My journey this year is going to document my weigh-loss.'s out. (Deep breath inserted here) I have struggled with my weight all my life in one way or another. I have lost weight only to regain it. Some of you know the cycle. There are several things I will be sharing on this journey, not just pounds lost, but books read, helpful tips I find, and recipes. 

Today I am going to share the method. As I said before I have been on this journey many times and have taken several different paths. For me, I have been most successful on Weight Watchers. That is the program I will be following. Yes, it does cost money. This year the budget will more than comfortably afford the monthly online fee, praise the Lord for that. There have been times when that has not been a comfortable budget expense but still one I felt was very worth it. In the past I have attended weekly meetings but this time around I am only going to use the online membership. In the past, I have always had a "buddy" doing the program with me. This time I will be going it alone. That is what will be one of the hardest parts, but if I am being transparent, necessary. I don't know where this particular path on this lifetime journey is going but as I write I am finding encouragement. Almost excitement. I say almost because I am not a risk taker by nature, in fact, status-quo is a synonym of security to me. I am not thrilled about being transparent either. I find it difficult to share my inner thoughts with anyone. 

I am hoping others who are headed on this type of journey will find encouragement. For those of you who have never had weight struggles, but have loved ones who do, maybe you will see a glimps of something that will help you better understand. 

So for today...the journey begins........

Monday, August 11, 2014

The New Girls Get Names

Well the girls are all grown up now, so today was the day we banded them and gave them names. Here's the roll call.....
Nadia got her name because as we were watching her after the banding she walked across the roosting bar and balanced on one leg while stretching the other leg out in front of her and repeated this with the other leg with exception of stretching it behind her- she looked like she was preforming a balance beam routine.

Helen is a rather flighty bird. She made the biggest fuss when she was being banded.
We don't know any fussy Helen's but Dan felt that she looked like a Helen so the name stuck.

Lizzy, of course is named after Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudiced. She is not proud or prejudiced but I love the name Lizzy. Too bad she will never meet her
 Mr. Darcy.

Ethel got her name because of her BFF. She is usually found hanging around Lucy!

Bertha is the biggest of all the girls. Big Bertha just seems to suit her.

Guinever's band color is white and for some reason she just kept reminding me of
 Lady Guinevere so the name stuck.

Little Lucy actually got her name when we brought her home. She was is the smallest of the girls and always came running to me when I would peek into the brooder. She usually is one of the first ones to get to me when I go out to the coop- that is if Claudia will get out of the way!
And last but not least...Gertrude...Dan picked her name. 

Guess who would not leave me alone until I took her picture?
Claudia the photo bomber!(by the way...she rules the roost!)
So there you have it. About three weeks ago we combined the "Three French Hens" with the new girls. They are getting along as good as can be expected. They were 20 weeks old on August 7th and we found the first egg  from the new girls, laid in the run, on Sunday the 10th. There were two more today, one broke in the nesting box and the other was laid in the run again. Both were small really small but we are thrilled that they are starting. I know production will increase as they get the hang of it. The next project is to increase the size of the run and finish painting the coop. I am also not happy where the old coop is placed so we have plans to move that again. When it is all done I will give you a picture tour....or stop by and see them in person.